Blog 20

My initial thoughts on the story “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” was that the story was written very well. The different characters and the diverse personalities gave the story a very interesting factor to it. The clash of origins from the main focused characters creates conflict and suspense throughout the dialogue and plot. The most interesting part of the story though, and why I think the story is written so well, is the great use of irony at the end of the story. When the “smarter,” “more educated man” gets proven wrong by the “unintelligent man.” This proves in the story, that just because you are educated, does not mean that you are necessarily intelligent when it comes to real world applications. This is also the main purpose of the story, to depict a highly educated person being “shown up” so to speak by an “idiot” or uneducated hick.

The use of satire is also intriguing and adds a much need comedic relief to the very meaningful plot. Though many may disagree with the statement of the plot being meaningless or not very serious, to me it does hold a very deep meaning. This meaning being just because you are educated does not mean you are intelligent, and you should take uneducated people seriously, as they may be more smart or savvy than you.

So Huck Finn is a very readable story. I think I will like it as we go along, as so far I have not found a reason to not really like. In my experience usually I can tell if I am going to like a story fairly quickly. I think the story will have some irony, just like “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.” I also believe that it will include satire and a lot of humor behind the more serious story line.

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Blog 18

At first my reaction to the work of Walt Whitman was that “Song of Myself” was very very confusing, and I could not quite grasp the meaning of the poem itself. There were very few lines that I could interpret. Though during our creation of the slide show, I started to pick up bits and pieces. I did know that the main focus was Transcendentalism, but I could not decipher individual sections and lines. After the group presentations though, I finally could comprehend the meaning of the work. I understood the deeper meaning and what Walt Whitman was trying to convey to the audience. The audience being society, anyone and everyone who would consider the ways of Transcendentalism. Another thing I realized after the presentations was that Walt was a pretty spiritual person and religion definitely had an influence on his lifestyle and his works, especially “Song of Myself.”

The section I found most interesting in “Song of Myself” was section section 4. Section 4 as I interpret it states that the occurrences in his life, being where he is from, who he meets and talks to, the fortunate or unfortunate events that happen do not define who he himself is. He is saying he has control of what he becomes, and what he believes, as well as any man or woman on Earth. You can be influenced by your environment, but it does not have to be that way. Walt is suggesting he has deemed this thought to be true in his own life.

Song of myself is considered one of the most influential poems of American history. Some of the key points of the poem still are present and influence society today. Many critically acclaimed authors have deemed the poem one of the greatest literary works of all time. They have also praised Walt for his wisdom and extremely progressive thoughts.

Something that still influences society today from “Song of Myself” is the idea of a perfect democratic society being present in the United States of America. He pushes the idea that he is speaking to those who are powerless and powerful, and that everyone could be anyone. Wealth is in the eye of the beholder and everyone is created equal by the divine.


In today’s society, my experiences with satire and humor are that I enjoy it. Especially with most of today’s satire in major media and television being aimed at the current administration and or conservative side of politics, and me being more in favor of the left, I find this satire comedic and relative. For example, if a late night talk show uses satire aimed at Trump supporters, I find it funny if it is like my experiences with Trump supporters around me.

A type of humor that I find very comedic often is: Self Deprecating

I find this type of humor comedic because the ways that I see it used are often in SNL skits or in stand up comedy. So my example of this is an SNL skit where one of the actors, is doing an impression of the Secretary of Education who is very criticized for not knowing anything about public schooling or education in general. So the actor portrays her as a very unintelligent person not knowing much about public education. This shows the self deprecating type of humor.

Mark Twain was an American writer born in Missouri. He worked as a steam boat pilot, and also a miner. Both those careers somewhat failed. He worked for many news outlets and newspaper companies writing funny stories and articles. This then led to his writing career. Many of his stories/books were humorous or witty. He also used a lot of satire in his stories. His most famous work arguably is the Adventures of Tom Sawyer, followed by the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. This is referred to as the Great American Novel due to it’s popularity. Mark Twain’s works are extremely well known among the literature community and paved the way if you will for satire in modern works.

Something I found while researching Mark Twain that was very interesting was the Halley’s comet coincidence. Mark Twain was born shortly after Halley’s comet was spotted, and he predicted later in life that he “would go out with it.” His predictions deemed correct as he died the day after the comet was spotted again.


Blog 19

At first, while watching the film, the thoughts running through my head were that I should appreciate the quality of modern day movies. I thought this for many reasons. These reasons being the use of CGI, better sets, better acting, higher quality, are all things we take for granted now a days that aren’t present in an old film such as Vertigo. So, now that we are half way through the movie, I do quite like it. My reactions are that it is very suspenseful. It is mysterious and really grabs your attention. I am indeed excited to see what may happen next. Some things that I find very interesting is how Scotty reacts to the girl. He not is not only following her for the sake of his job, but he has another motive. I think while at the restaurant, Scotty realizes that he actually has feelings for the girl. So he now follows her not only because he was hired to, but because he is concerned for her own safety as well. Another thing I noticed speaking of feelings, Scotty’s female roommate I think also likes Scotty. However, I think Scotty has moved on from her since they’ve broke up. This girl comes off as annoying to me, towards the middle of the movie she seems to be trying very hard for Scotty to notice her, but again Scotty has lost interest. Some of my predictions for the rest of the movie are that Scotty is really going to fall for her. Also, I think that something is going to happen to Gavin’s wife, the girl Scotty is suppose to watch. I think as he is following her, his fear of heights is going to come into play later in the movie. I know the girl dies, So I think his fear of heights will hinder Scotty from saving her.

Blog 17

After reading “Civil Disobedience” I think government is best when it functions some. So I am kind of in between, because I think we need government, but not to the point where it is a huge controlling factor of your day-to-day life. I also think we need enough to the point where it keeps society safe, allows for industrial expansion, and can step in to help the general public when in need. The current United States government in my opinion is good. Not the current administration….. But a democracy, and capitalism is good in my opinion. Our government has financial aid for citizens in need, our military keeps us safe, and our laws allow society to function normally and secure, for the most part. Also, you as a citizen have the right to an education.

I think the goal of government in society is to oversee the people, provide services, and try to make society function best for everyone as best as they can, whilst still allowing individual success. The goal of government to an individual is to allow progression in society, help you if you are struggling, and make sure you are a contributing member to society.

A government that commands my respect is one that gives it’s people say, and that allows everyone to have an equal say in what occurs. Also I respect a government that is willing of a free flow of ideas to improve the state.

The role of civil disobedience today is for people to let their voices be heard. If a group of people are unhappy about a situation and have no way to voice that opinion, civil disobedience or protest in modern society is the only way to get a point across. Having a protest that is in public grabs the attention of the people around it, thus gaining more attention to the cause. This fuels the cause and can spark change.

In modern society, civil disobedience and protest I think still has a place and needs to be done. How else is the general public suppose to let the government and the rest of society know they are unhappy about an issue. Although, there is so many protests today, I feel as if that every protest gets swept under the rug with an underwhelming result.

Blog 15

The connections between the thoughts of Emerson and Thoreau were that they both had an idea of the fate of humans. They both believed that you determine your own fate. When you are born you are naturally good and the evils of society cause humans to change from good and pure to “bad”. The point of the first part of the excerpt is to describe to the reader what life he lived previous to the experiment. This allows the reader to get a sense of what his life would have been like before, to further understand what he is trying to prove. The main point of the conclusion is to show the results of the experiment, and show what changed. His opinions and overall thought of the outcome are explained in the conclusion. The benefits of leaving your average life to live in the woods in my opinion could very well be good. Self-reflection would definitely be a result of leaving society to live as one with nature. Also, leaving technology , and the evils of society could cleanse your mind and soul. I believe that leaving society including other people and your day job could possibly reduce stress. However, there are several negatives to this. We all know what solitary confinement can do to someone even in a small period of time. As a result of leaving society and everyone you know, and everything you know, could literally drive a human crazy from being away from everything for an extended period of time. If I would do this particular experiment of leaving everything to go live in the woods, there are many things I would miss. I think it would be refreshing at first but quickly turn boring. The thing I would miss the most is probably human interaction. I would also miss physical objects and events. I would miss playing video games, watching YouTube, etc. I think I could do it, but only for a short time. I feel like I might last a week, and that’s probably a high estimate. I think the number one thing a modern reader can take away from our discussion is that we as humans are in control of our own fate.

Blog 15

I think there are several reasons as to why we have Independent Reading. Many of these reasons I think are important for our society and growth as a student. However, I do not think that Independent Reading should be required. I believe that many students can get the same kind of result or gain the same benefits from other events or actions.

Some of the reasons and benefits of Independent reading are that we gain a more broad and diverse vocabulary. Reading improves thinking and cognitive ability. Reading can calm people down, and escape the current situation they may be in reducing stress levels. Independent reading, if the individual is committed, can take up a small amount of time to be productive, and increase cognitive ability, possibly reducing bad decisions with a bunch of free time. The most important thing I would say over-all that Independent reading results in is it makes you more creative, and helps you learn.

I touch again on the subject that I do not necessarily think that it should be required. I would argue that someone who plays video games can very well gain the same benefits as a book. I also believe that you don’t have to read a novel to gain these benefits. Magazine articles, short stories, etc. can do the same thing.

I think as a school to better encourage our students to read, there are honestly few things you can do. I think the only way is to allow class time to do so. I doubt there are more than a couple students who would take time out of their lives after school to read a novel. So the best thing would be to do the in class time.


Blog 13

My understanding of arguments has increased over the course of the unit. I definitely learned how to form a better argument and also learned the debate format better as well. I realized a lot of key points during the debates though. One of these things being opponents can lose an argument themselves. This can occur when a person argument does not give enough information, or he or she says something that would lead you to believe they don’t have a very good understanding of their topic in general. Often in our debates, one side’s constructive was less than a minute, so then when the other side would present their constructive, it just flooded their opponent in information and they’d basically win the debate right there.

Another key point I learned was that the best way in my opinion was to make your opponent look or seem stupid proving their argument invalid. This could be achieved in a many of ways. One of these ways being through the questioning. Either asking or answering question could accomplish this specific goal. If you asked questions that your opponent could give little or no response to, you basically win that question so to speak. By doing this several times you can really create an overwhelming sense of victory to your audience. Also, by answering questions, if you are very informed on your topic, you should be able to answer the questions with your information within the topic. With all that you can really make it seem like your argument is better.

Another thing that I learned whilst doing this unit was that an argument does not even need to be valid to make it appeal to people. If you “play your cards right” a seemingly terrible idea or topic for an argument can win a debate in a seemingly obvious decision. If you appeal to emotion of the audience you can achieve this. If you flood your opponent in facts and evidence you can achieve this. If you catch your opponent off guard with a question, you can humiliate your opponent and over all win the argument.

A final thing I learned was that arguments are extremely important in our society. The way we live our lives and the way our government functions is based off of arguments. In saying that, I understand how important it is to form a good argument.


Blog 12

My opinion during the debate on the topic of women in combat has not changed really, though it has grown stronger towards my previous opinion. During the debate, I was fortunate enough to argue for my personal opinion. I was assigned to argue (Con) Women in combat. Before the debate, my opinion on the matter was that females should not be on the front lines, and we should just leave that to male soldiers. Whilst researching my topic during the debate, I found some very compelling facts and studies that argue for my side of the argument.

The most interesting and convincing piece of evidence I found while doing my research was a study done by the United States Marine Corps. They did a yearlong study comparing an all male squads performance to a mixed squad formed of females and males. The year long study showed that the all male squad performed better in every single aspect including time to extract casualties, completing tasks, tactical ability, and overall lethal-ness.

This evidence should not only be interesting to me, but to others as well. This study completely condemns the idea of women in combat. We need the best soldiers on the front line in our military, and if women cannot be as good as men, then we should not have therm there.

I did not know this fact before my research and I found that piece of information from the U.S. Marine Corps. official website. There were two crucial websites that I got a lot of my arguing information from. Those websites being the Marine Corp’s website, and the website of Veterans Affairs. I obtained a lot of information regarding PTSD and emotional information on women.

My topic is somewhat emotionally charged, but I would say little compared to the other debates. Obviously many women and men have strong emotional opinions on the matter.

One way ethics enters a role in my topic is the ethic of freedom. The freedom for a female to fight and die for her country if she chooses.

The most important appeal to my topic is the logical aspect. Logic is basically all the evidence and supporting factors I used to prove my point. I used scientific facts and information, as well as studies and tests that logically prove my point.

In the process of forming a valid argument, I learned that your argument does not even need to be that logical or even factual. If you back it up with information to “prove” your point, you can make a good argument. There are several ways to prove a point or win an argument rather than just overload facts and try to win based on facts vs facts.



Before I start this blog, I must inform you that I was unaware of how the AR testing system actually works. I planned on taking the AR tests today. I then found out that you must be on the school’s internet to take the test. So I guess my only option at this point is to do the blog.  So without further a do, here is my blog on World War Z.

World War Z is a collection of first hand accounts of people who experienced the zombie outbreak of the time. The collection includes peoples stories from around the world with all different backgrounds.The most intriguing thing that happened in the book World War Z took place during the time period refereed to as “The Great Panic.” This time period known as the “Great Panic” was the point in the outbreak where a large majority of the world started showing the infection among humans, and it was spreading rapidly. The infection started in a young boy in Japan. This boy, the first to show signs of the disease was refereed to as “Patient Zero.” From that child the disease spread through human trafficking etc etc, and eventually the disease was all over the world in every major city and high traffic area.

So then during the “Great Panic” two nations in the middle east, Pakistan and Iran attempt to terminate one another in a huge nuclear war. This adds to the tension of the world on top of the disease. Refugees pour into Iran from Pakistan. Iran places the fleeing refugees int churches and other places they can stay that are safe.

The disease is starting to really take effect throughout the world and people are seeing the end result of the disease and what it does to people. This is extremely prevalent in the middle east where the infection spreads like wildfire. Fully infected patients are more common than ever and the people are starting to lose hope. Adults fearing for the lives of the children decide to take matters into their own hands. In an attempt to give their children the most peaceful death as possible, and  not allow them to suffer, and become a fully zombified individual, they kill their children. Most commonly the adults killed the children in the churches.

This part of the story for me was the most intriguing and got the strongest emotional response from me than any other part of the book. The culture of the middle eastern people being so religious, and many peaceful, did the exact opposite of what I would have expected. I suppose on a humanitarian standpoint this would be the right thing to do as an adult. The last thing you want to see is your child or any child for that matter go through the process of this infection. First the infected individual becomes terribly sick. This then progresses to symptoms of the zombie process. This leads to becoming a zombie for lack of a better term. Then you slowly  die, painfully slowly, unable to control yourself in the new body of a decomposing zombie. But none the less, to kill children, to take that responsibility and that guilt upon yourself is very very surprising and really conjured an emotional response from me. I could not really imagine ,being in a religious temple, in a very strange emotional place, not knowing what is going to bring in the future. I have to make the decision to kill my child, and not run the risk of them being infected. Or, I could take my chances, and not have that guilt hung over my head that I killed my child, and possibly they survive. But the alternative that they get infected is not something I’d want to live with either. So I really don’t know. The decisions the people made in the church is admirable in a way, but it’s just hard to think about myself in that situation and what I’d do.